Proceeding as scheduled with the 2012 Republican National Convention may turn out, in hindsight, to be a really bad decision. Amidst bizarre events and another historic hurricane ravaging Louisiana on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the GOP reinforced criticism that its presidential candidate Mitt Romney is out of touch with the reality. Reminiscent of Nero playing the violin while Rome is burning, the GOP chose to proceed with the convention despite all the warning signs, while Rush Limbaugh blamed Hurricane Isaac on President Obama.
On Day 3 of the Republican National Convention, which was delayed by one day due to Hurricane Isaac on Sunday, news of the ravaging of Louisiana was almost a distraction for news media taking them away from full coverage of the speech by Condoleezza Rice. Many stations posted the full transcript later. Rice’s speech came across as scripted and selective. In an interim television news report , Tom Brokaw, formerly of NBC Nightly News, indicated that Rice failed to mention her expertise on Russia and made little mention of the Bush administration. Rice did mention a number of standard historical events that made America great, however, credit for those accomplishments was held to the generic American history and not attributed to any party or President in her speech. She did not use specifics either in who was responsible for the issues we face such as economy and education, rather, says Rice, “When the world looks at us today they see an American government that cannot live within its means” again not specifying blame by name. In fact, Rice’s comment, “You might not be able to control your circumstances but you could control your response to your circumstances. And your greatest ally in doing so was a quality education.” could have easily been a pitch for the Obama campaign, since, as Jonathan Easley, The Hill, reported “Obama has blasted the GOP on education for months, saying “nearly every Republican” voted to cut funding to Head Start, cut Pell grants for college and block a portion of his jobs bill that the administration says would put 400,000 teachers and first-responders back to work.
Some may recall Rice’s career, prior to the Bush administration, when she served as the right hand to first black Philadelphia Mayor Wilson Goode who ordered the bombing of a residential neighborhood on Osage Avenue against MOVE in 1985, on Mother’s Day. Rice distanced herself from that horrifying event when she returned to Stanford University in California where she was later recruited to join the Bush administration. Rice served as Secretary of State under President George Bush, who was harshly criticized for his slow response to aid the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Also during the Bush administration there was an award offered by New Zealand students for the citizens arrest of Rice for her role in instituting the Iraqi war. And today at the RNC, Condoleezza Rice spoke while in the background news Louisiana victims checked in to shelters to have pizza for dinner; Mitt Romney watched the speech on big screen TV from his hotel room pizza party with his grandchildren, perhaps, oblivious to what is going on outside in the real world? Rice’s personal track record is deservedly unmarred, she is to be lauded for her accomplishments, however, she has a consistent track record for endorsing candidates who are not embraced by black Americans, whom other politically strong, admired and respected African American Republicans , have typically not endorsed, on principle. The public seems to have a growing concern and interest in the values and principles of its political candidates, regardless of party, evidenced by Republicans for Obama with over 13,700 LIKES on Facebook.
If the intended message is that minorities and women should vote for Romney because Rice endorses him, well in her own words, “can I really say that it doesn’t matter where you came from – it matters where you are going.” Where are you going with this, Condoleezza?